St. Peter’s by-the-Sea’s Weekly – December 20, 2021

What it's REALLY all about

The wisdom of Charles Schultz

56 years ago, Peanuts creator Charles Schulz met with Lee Mendelson, the show’s producer, and Bill Melendez, its lead animator while creating the classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. Schultz insisted on including a New Testament reading of the Christmas story, while producer and animator voiced concerns.
Melendez told Schultz, “It’s very dangerous for us to start talking about religion now.” To which Schultz replied, “If we don’t, who will?”.
The CBS special was the second-most watched show of the week when it debuted on December 9, 1965.

The scripture reading remained…   
As Linus’ reply to Charlie Brown’s lament,  “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

2021 Christmas Service Schedule

Sunday, December 19th at 5:30PM

Christmas Eve
Friday, December 24th at 4PM
Informal Christmas

Friday, December 24th at 5:30PM
Rite II with Children’s participation in
“Walk through Bethlehem”
followed by Apple Cider in the parish hall

Friday, December 24th at 10:00PM
Chorale Christmas Performance

Friday, December 24th at 10:30PM
Rite II service of Holy Eucharist, candles and special music

Christmas Morning
Saturday, December 25th at 11AM
Blessing of the Toys Service
Following the Blessing
A very special birthday celebration
in the Parish Hall !

Christmas 1
Sunday, December 26th at 8AM and 10:30 AM
Deacon’s Mass at both services
Celebrating the upcoming Feast Day of St. Stephen


Gifts for Life Matching Funds !

From the ERD press release]
Episcopal Relief & Development is kicking off its annual Year-End Match, offering supporters the opportunity to transform lives with twice the impact this holiday season. Thanks to a very generous group of donors, contributions that Episcopal Relief & Development receives between now and the end of the year will be doubled, dollar for dollar, up to a total of $650,000.

The Year-End Match will benefit the organization’s Global Needs Fund, supporting key programs in three priority areas: WomenChildren and Climate. Gifts will bolster work promoting the health and wellbeing of children, empowering women and helping communities…
Contributions made to Episcopal Relief & Development before the end of the year are eligible for matching, including Gifts for Life, the organization’s alternative giving catalog…

“Each year, during this matching gift period, thousands of generous donors – individuals and churches – answer the challenge to contribute,” said Mike Smith, Major Gift Officer. “It is a strong financial partnership, and it’s what makes the global work of Episcopal Relief & Development possible.”
[read the entire press release]

Our ERD giving campaign goes until Christmas and it’s never been easier to DOUBLE the  Big Love from our church pews.

Our goal is $2500, which doubled, could purchase an entire water well for a village.  Checks should be made out to St. Peter’s with ERD in the memo OR maybe made on-line through our website: and choosing “Episcopal Relief and Development” under the Fund Menu.


You gon-da give a great gift...

when you give an glass ornament or mug that helps raise funds for our 2022 mission to Uganda
(above) Ornaments made from our own recycled worship service bulletins and (below) commemorative Art for Africa mugs.


Wednesday’s Casting Nets’ Feast Day of the Conclusion
 Santa’s Visit to Central Elementary
 Lessons and Carols and
 Scenes from Advent 4

Episcopal Ladies Night will convene
Tuesday, December 28th at Salute’

Gather and Greet at 5pm
Dinner at 6pm

There will be NO MEN’S GRILLIN’ GROUP gathering in December.

Weekly Worship Schedule

 We are now offering bread AND wine during Holy Eucharist,
 but… Dip ! don’t Sip.

Wednesday People

10:30am Bible Study
in the Great Room
12:05 pm Litany of Healing
in the Chapel
~12:40 pm Via Media
on the Internet

Sundays by-the-Sea

8:00 am Rite I Service
~9 am Coffee in the Courtyard 
(weather permitting)

9:30 am Kids’ Sunday School
10:30 am Rite II Service*
In-Person and LIVE Streaming Service*
10:30 am Children’s Church
Child Care Available

Last Week’s Streaming Service

The Fourth Sunday of Advent
Rite I  8:00am Streaming Link
Rite II  10:30am Streaming Link

Lessons and Carols

December 19 – December 25th
19th – Asher Sanders
20th – Lenny Sawyer
23rd- Donna Hutchings
24th – Christie Yoste
25th – Marion Hood

December 26 – January 1st

26th Bob Montgomery
27th Hannah Black
30th Libby Koch
30th Ian Phillips
31st Lamar Billups
31st Stanley Hastings
1st Ashley Crump
30th Tim & Pam Barrineau

A memorial service for long time parishioner Phil Parker, who passed away earlier this year in Tennessee,
will be held on

December 30th 11PM
at the Biloxi National Cemetery.
Phil’s family has invited his friends from St. Peter’s to join this celebration of his life.


Christmas Eve
December 24th


Collect:   O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that we, who joyfully receive him as our Redeemer, may with sure confidence behold him when he comes to be our Judge; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
or this
O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
or this
Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born [this day] of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Christmas Morning
December 25th

Isaiah 9:2-7 
Titus 2:11-14 
Luke 2:1-14(15-20)
Psalm 96
Isaiah 52:7-10
Hebrews 1:1-4,(5-12)
John 1:1-14
Psalm 98

Collect: Same as above

First Sunday after Christmas
December 26th



Collect:   Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

TOMORROW, Tuesday, December 21
The Feast Day of St. Thomas

Habakkuk 2:1-4, Hebrews 10:35-11:1, John 20:24-29, Psalm 126
Collect: Everliving God, who strengthened your apostle Thomas with firm and certain faith in your Son’s resurrection: Grant us so perfectly and without doubt to believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that our faith may never be found wanting in your sight; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

  Lesser Feast Days and Fasts for this week December 20
[Katharina von Bora, Church Reformer, 1552]
Lesser Feast Days and Fasts site

St. Thomas the Apostle

Thomas the Apostle also called Didymus (“twin”) and commonly known as “Doubting Thomas” because he initially doubted the resurrection of Jesus Christ when he was told of it (as is related in the Gospel of John alone); he later confessed his faith (“My Lord and my God”) on seeing the wounds left over from the crucifixion.

St. Thomas was probably born in Galilee and died 53 CE, Madras, India. The Western feast day is December 21, but in Roman and Syrian Catholic churches July 3, and in the Greek church October 6. His name in Aramaic (Teʾoma) and Greek (Didymos) means “twin”; John 11:16 identifies him as “Thomas, called the Twin.”

Thomas’s subsequent history is uncertain. According to 4th century accounts, he evangelized Parthia (modern day Iran). Later Christian tradition says Thomas extended his apostolate into India, where he is recognized as the founder of the Church of the Syrian Malabar Christians, or Christians of St. Thomas.
In the apocryphal 
Acts of Thomas, he allegedly visited the court of the Indo-Parthian king, who put him in charge of building a royal palace (he was reportedly a carpenter). He was imprisoned for spending the money entrusted to him on charity. The work records his martyrdom as having occurred under the king of Mylapore at Madras (India), where San Thomé Cathedral, his traditional burial place, is located. His relics, however, supposedly were taken to the West and finally enshrined at OrtonaItaly.

St. Thomas day,
St. Thomas gray,
The longest night
and shortest day.

Traditionally, The Feast of St. Thomas is celebrated on 21st December and is the day dedicated to completing your Christmas preparations.
It is usually the shortest day of the year, and this was the start of the Christmas cleaning and baking. The day finishing our external preparations for Christmas. All the weeks before should have been more of spiritual preparation, the Advent preparations. In Tyrol and in parts of Canada, the 21st December was “pie day”. Meat pies were baked for the family, then cooled and frozen. They are saved for the feast of the Epiphany, and are thawed, reheated and eaten. Sausage rolls and the original mince pies, that had meat, come to mind. In England, this was a day of charity, when the poor women went a “Thomasing” or begging. Wheat was cooked and distributed for the poor.


St. Peters “Community” Night
Wednesdays in the Parish Hal

Begining January 19, 2022, St. Peters will begin having Wednesday night gatherings in the Parish Hall aimed at expanding our sense of community and providing “multi-generational” opportunities for spiritual growth. The schedule for these nights will look like this:

5:30PM Compline

6:00PM – Dinner and spiritual discussions

Adults in Parish Hall

Teens (EYC) in Library

Pre-YC in Sunday School rooms

Nursery will be made available

6:45PM – All hands “community” cleanup

To execute this program, we will need some volunteers to prepare the meals on a rotating basis, one or two volunteers to shepherd the teen discussions, and one or two volunteers for the Pre-YC children. Topics will be selected by Father Patrick and the Wednesday night team, and discussion cards will be provided to group leaders – so, no extensive prep work should be required!

Our intent is to offer a mid-week opportunity for all to come and continue their growth in Christ and community. So as to maximize everyone’s ability to join in, we will hold off on cleanup until after the discussions are completed – and then we will clean up as a community. We hope to have everyone on their way home by 7:15PM each night.

If you feel called to service, please consider volunteering for one of the team positions! Otherwise, come on out and grow with St. Peters!

Contact Chuck Rollins at 228-617-8149 or for more information.


For the Kids !

Advent 3 Lesson:
The Shepherds

This week’s lesson is the fourth in the Christmas lesson series. We will look at the shepherds who were the first to visit baby Jesus. Some of the key points we will study are:

  • They were not important people in society, but they were important to God.

  • They told everyone about Jesus. We should tell everyone, too.

  • They brought what they had to Jesus.

  • Jesus is a great shepherd.

Download The Shepherds Christmas lesson

Advent 4 Lesson: 
Jesus is Born

Welcome to week three in our Christmas lesson series. (If you missed any of the past Christmas lessons click here). This week, we focus on Luke 2. We will look at the trip to Bethlehem and Jesus’ birth in a stable, because of the lack of room in the inn.  Some of the key points we will study are:

  • We need to make room in our lives for Jesus.

  • Jesus fulfilled the prophecies in the Old Testament with His birth.

  • Jesus came for a purpose.

  • God is in control.

Download Jesus is born lesson

Youth Groups

Check out all of the upcoming events
for our youth and follow their
instagram page

FAMILY FUN – 12 Crafts of Christmas
Day 1 – Ringing the Bells
Day 2 – Two Turtle Doves
Day 3 – God’s Eye Snowflakes
Day 4 – Pinecone Gnomes
Day 5 – Gold Crown Tea Lights
Day 6 – Origami Stars

View more…

Support our Local Non-Profits

Gulf Coast Community Ministries

Agency Logo

Support our ECW with the purchase of a St. Peter’s Ornament!

Commissioned in 2009, and the 4th in a series of Downtown Gulfport Landmarks, these cast pewter ornaments are the original work of artist Maurice Milleur. Measuring approximately 2 3/4″ tall.
These make great gifts and help support our ECW.
Ornaments are $20/each and may be purchased by contacting any ECW member or the church office.


Advent 4 (C) – Fourth Week of Advent: Journeying in the World – December 19, 2021

As we come closer to the joy and promise of the Incarnation, we invite you to continue journeying the Way of Love. Consider this week which of the seven practices captured your imagination this Advent. Which challenged you or brought the most joy? Where did you find blessings or cross boundaries? Where is God calling you to witness to salvation being birthed into the world today?

For more Advent resources related to the Way of Love, visit . There, you’ll find links to the full Advent curriculum Journeying the Way of Love , as well as Living the Way of Love in Community, a nine-session curriculum for use anytime.

Sunday, December 19
Linger before leaving your worship time today. How is God calling you to hear and sing along with Mary’s Song? Read Luke 1: 39-55.

Monday, December 20
Go out into your neighborhood today. Where is God at work? Ask God to show you how you can celebrate that good work and name God’s presence in your community.

Tuesday, December 21
Read Habakkuk 2: 1-4. Does this reading remind you of Thomas the disciple? Why do you think the folks who organized the lectionary picked this reading from the Old Testament for this friend of Jesus?

Wednesday, December 22
Pray along with the Collect for Advent 4, found on page 212 in The Book of Common Prayer. Pick three or four of your beloveds to focus your prayers on today. Make sure to leave some silent space for God to offer you some wisdom about what they may need right now.

Thursday, December 23
Make sure to pick up an extra present or two – a nice candy sampler or a warm pair of slippers or pajama pants, just in case you have extra friends or guests drop by. Ask God to bless those who travel and those who may be alone in the coming days. Take some bottled water and sports drinks over to your local community cold weather shelter. They will be extra glad to have that during the winter months.

Friday, December 24
If you are gathering with friends and family today, consider taking time during the meal to turn to the folks on your right, and then on your left, to thank them for their love in your life. See how this might spread some joy and comfort around the table – or maybe even ease some potentially prickly guests.

Saturday, December 25
The conventional wisdom is that new parents should rest when the baby is resting. Make sure you take some time out to rest with Baby Jesus – and marvel in the wonder of a fresh, new, clean, shiny, tiny, precious start. Take a nap and thank God for the gift of Jesus and for peace at Christmas.



Bible Study Advent 4 (C) – December 19, 2021

RCL: Micah 5:2-5a; Canticle 15 (or 3) or Psalm 80:1-7; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45, (46-55)

During Advent and Christmas, we will be using study prompts and other activities tied to the sermon for the week. Read the sermon aloud and follow-up with spoken responses to the two questions at the end. Find our full sermon compilation for individual, small group, or congregational use, Sermons for Advent and Christmas 2021 at

The Hope-Song
by the Rev. Phil Hooper

The Rev. Pauli Murray once wrote that “hope is a song in a weary throat,” and amid this hopeful season, amid this weary age, we would do well to consider what such a song sounds like. It’s easy to miss sometimes, the hope-song, because it doesn’t always sound the way we might expect. We are too easily distracted by the proud aria or the ironic riff to listen for the soft, tremulous music that hope makes.

Hope is the song of empty karaoke bars, of late nights and of last dances, of a husky voice crying out a melody to defy the encroaching night. It is the song one sings under the breath, an insistent memory, perhaps, or a reassurance on the lonely walk home. It is the warbling note that has no obvious splendor other than its defiant insistence to be heard. The hope-song is not elegant, but it is faithful. It is honest. It is the song one offers up when the song is all that’s left to offer.

Consider this music, then, as we travel with Mary to Elizabeth’s house. Forget for a moment the lush choral arrangements of the Magnificat. Don’t be fooled by the prophetic boldness of the words alone. Remember that there is a fearful precariousness to her position. She is a young woman walking uphill in every sense of the word, seeking the comfort of a familiar face when everything else has suddenly become so very unfamiliar. We might wonder: did Mary sing to herself on the dusty road to the hill country? Was it a song that her own parents once taught her that she practiced on parched lips? Or did she call it up from somewhere deeper within, from the Spirit-infused cells of her very depths, determined to give voice to what was true, even when her life seemed to be caught in uncertainty?

Regardless, she sings, and it is indeed hope in a weary throat, reverberating into eternity: “My soul magnifies the Lord.”

Like any hope-song, there is defiance here, along with the joy and the fear. Yes, Mary says, yes, my soul, my very self magnifies the inexpressible holy name of God. The soul that belongs to this body in all its frailty and in all its fecundity – this is a place where God is revealed. Obscure, vulnerable, enmeshed in the tragic history of my people – I may be all of those things, but God is disclosed in them, not despite them, and God has chosen to take part in this world through me. 

And so, I will sing!

I will sing though I am weary, though I am frightened, because in the singing I place myself within a story, not just a circumstance. I sing a song of victory, not of victim hood. I am a teller of hard truths and I am the bearer of hard hope, the type that survives – it is my people’s hope, and my own.
read more…

1 Christmas – 2021

December 26, 2021

Bible Study: 1 Christmas – 2021

RCL: Isaiah 61:10-62:3; Psalm 147 or 147:13-21; Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7; John 1:1-18

Isaiah 61:10-62:3

It is clear in the prophecy given to Isaiah that God intends for his people Israel to be a beacon to other nations. The strong imagery of “garland,” “jewels,” “crown,” and “diadem” bespeak a richness that God bestows upon those who are faithful to him. But these riches adorn his people for a single purpose: they are meant to be a sign to those who do not yet know the God of Israel. The gifts which God graciously gives his people are meant to draw others into relationship with him. The salvation we receive from the Father is meant not as a vindication of ourselves in the face of those who are perishing, but as a means to bring salvation to them. God intends Israel to be a torch to light the path for others.

  • What gifts has God bestowed upon you? How might you use those gifts to draw others to God?

read more…

Did you know there are RCL (Revised Common Lectionary) Readings for each day ? 
While there is a little overlap each day, they are posted on-line as a service of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library:  Daily Readings

Daily Readings for this week

Being Episcopalian

The Mississippi Episcopal Diocese

The Episcopal Church

National Cathedral

Episcopal Cafe


Check out our neighboring
Coast Churches

St. Mark’s Gulfport

Trinity Pass Christian

Christ Church Bay St. Louis

St. Patrick’s Long Beach

St. Thomas Diamondhead

Church of the Redeemer Biloxi

St. John’s Ocean Springs

First United Methodist Church


O God, our heavenly Father, whose glory fills the whole creation, and whose presence we find wherever we go:
preserve those who travel; surround them with your loving care; protect them from every danger;
and bring them in safety to their journey’s end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Contact Us
         phone: 228.863.2611    
   address: 1909 15th Street  Gulfport, Ms 39501
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Kids and Teens join us each Sunday Afternoon for EYC